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A Look Back at… Super Smashing May Day

Super Smashing 70s May Day

As part of the Saving the 70s Project and to accompany our 70s exhibition ‘Escape to the Country’ this year’s May Day was given a 70s twist! Eleanor Root, Our Museum Programme Assistant, gives us the lowdown on this year’s Super Smashing May Day.

In the days running up to May Day, all the Museum staff checked the weather reports constantly. We had booked all kinds of fun things for our visitors, from Punch and Judy to planting in the Walled Garden and macramé making to May Pole dancing.  The adverts had gone out in 23 different newspapers and magazines, posters up around town and we’d managed to get ourselves an interview on BBC Radio Suffolk. All we needed now was the Sun to shine.

As we put the finishing touches to our Super Smashing May Day it seemed like we were in luck – a few clouds skittered over an otherwise bright blue sky.

At 10 am visitors started arriving and got stuck into all the different activities on Abbot’s Hall’s back lawn. They got crafty tie-dying socks, bounced their way to victory in the Spacer Hopper races and listened in rapt attention to the top-hatted storyteller. As they ventured around the site they discovered craft stalls in the thirteenth-century barn, a pop-up cinema showing classic 70s cartoons and advertisements, an archery range and a printing press workshop. In total 500 visitors came to our Super Smashing May Day event and joined in with the 70s themed fun.

We placed a large focus on encouraging visitors to feedback about this event and collected 42 questionnaires, in which visitors were asked where they had heard about the event, what they did and didn’t enjoy about their day and a little bit about themselves. The feedback has been mostly positive and visitors thoroughly enjoyed the range of activities, which were included in the standard museum entry.  However, visitors identified several areas for improvement and we are working to use these to develop future events, particularly introducing better signposts around the site to point to where the action is taking place and having out a hand-out itinerary.

If you attended our May Day event and have any feedback, please feel free to contact Eleanor on 01449 612229 or eleanor.root@eastanglianlife.org.uk.

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